As planned, Darlene and I had lunch Thursday with Frank Turk and three-fourths of his family. In deference to Mrs. Turk, who shuns all the fame and accolades that go with being Centuri0n's wife, I'm not going to mention any first names. But they have a daughter who is beautiful, intelligent, sophisticated, wittyand four years old. I want grandchildren like that. They also have a son who I am told is equally bright and athletic (he plays soccer), but he was stuck in school yesterday.
Lunch was at Cheddars Casual Cafe on 71st streetone of my favorite Tulsa places. We swapped home-school-mom tales (Frank has some good ones) and gossipped about the blogosphere. I'm not going to get specific here, but if you're a regular reader, commenter, or blogger and wondering if we talked about you, the answer is yes. We talked about you all. For a couple of hours.
Then we drove to Mardel, the Christian and Educational Supply store, which is just down the street from Cheddars. That was the highlight of the day. Frank is the perfect guy to walk through a massive warehouse-sized Christian retail store with. He's a Christian retailer himself, and he also works for a Christian publisher. I've been involved in various aspects of Christian publishing for 30 years. We could have spent the whole week at a place like Mardel and not run out of things to talk about.
We walked through the greeting-card aisle (an area where Frank's expertise is unsurpassed and I have asolutely no experiencenot even as a customer, because Darlene does all the card-buying in our family). Frank gave me an education and a whole new appreciation for what's involved in writing, publishing, and marketing cards.
We groused about the tripe that fills the Wall o' Best-Sellers in Mardel's book section.
We watched a video of Emerging Church leader Rob Bell and analyzed his idiosyncratic delivery style.
We talked about the current state of affairs in Christian publishing, critiqued cover art and packaging concepts, sized up the latest Biblezine®, reminisced about our first impressions of Clarence Larkin's architectural-drawing approach to eschatology, traded anecdotes about James White, speculated about what Steve Hays looks like, confabulated some more about the rest of you, and played with the Christian Koosh balls.
QOtD from Frank's daughter: "How do you make them koosh?" She's absolutely adorable.
I'm not finished messing with my blogroll. I'm thinking of adding a couple more categories. I have to find something worse than "irritating" but just short of "loathsome" to accommodate a certain blog that is screaming for a category all its own. And without expanding my "stellar" category so much that it means nothing, I need to have a new category above "interesting" to place a few of my favorites that deserve special recognition. Give me a few days to get it like I want it before you try to draw any conclusions about what it all means.